Instagram Rolls Out New Security Features

Instagram Rolls Out New Security Features

The new tools will make it easier for users to protect their accounts.

Popular photo sharing app, Instagram, has announced three features designed to bring security and peace of mind to the platform.

The new tools will make it easier for users to know who is actually behind some of the platform's biggest accounts. It is also introducing its new verification system for celebrities and public figures, and offers support for the use of third-party authenticator apps.

Until now, Instagram's implementation of two-factor authentication wasn't as secure as it could have been. After security researchers' many complaints, Instagram is finally introducing the ability to receive login codes through an app, instead of a test message. SMS messages are a less secure way to verify someone's identity because mobile accounts are vulnerable to SIM hijacking, an increasingly prevalent hack.

Hackers have attacked the platform many times over the past year. SIM hackers known to target desirable Instagram usernames and gain access to the accounts by taking control of the user's phone number and routing all the victim's texts and calls to a different SIM card.

Hackers then sell hijacked Instagram handles for thousands of dollars' worth of bitcoin. A number of Instagram users who were hacked said they had two-factor authentication enabled and Instagram did not warn them that their settings had been bypassed, changed or disabled.

The victims had only realized they had been hacked when they found that their accounts' handles and avatars had been changes, and their accounts' associated email addresses had been switched to ones with Russian .ru domains.

To set up the two-factor authentication via app on Instagram, you first need to download a third-party authenticator app if you don't already have one. You can choose from several, including the Google Authenticator, Duo or Authy.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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